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Feeling with the organism: A blueprint for an empirical philosophy of science

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  • Erika Mansnerus, The London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
  • Susann Wagenknecht, Denmark
Empirical insights are proven fruitful for the advancement of Philosophy of Science, but the integration of philosophical concepts and empirical data poses considerable methodological challenges. Debates in Integrated History and Philosophy of Science suggest that the advancement of philosophical knowledge takes place through the integration of the empirical or historical research into the philosophical studies, as Chang, Nersessian, Thagard and Schickore argue in their work.

Building upon their contributions we will develop a blueprint for an Empirical Philosophy of Science that draws upon qualitative methods from the social sciences in order to advance our philosophical understanding of science in practice. We will regard the relationship between philosophical conceptualization and empirical data as an iterative dialogue between theory and data, which is guided by a particular ‘feeling with’ the empirical phenomenon under study. On the basis of our own experience, we will explain how this dialogical interplay between conceptual discourse and empirical insight manifests itself when analysing the practices of infectious disease modelling and a team of planetary scientists. Thereby, we offer not only practical examples, but also a framework for further reflection on the methodology of Empirical Philosophy of Science.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmpirical Philosophy of Science : Introducing Qualitative Methods into Philosophy of Science
Publication year2015
ISBN (Electronic)9783319185996
Publication statusPublished - 2015
SeriesStudies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics

    Research areas

  • Philosophy of Science in Practice, Case Studies, Qualitative research, Dialogue, Iteration, Social Epistemology

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